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Rainer Nickel

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access to documents; accountability; civil society; democracy; EU; global law; governance; international regimes; legitimacy; networks; NGOs; Participation; participatory democracy; participatory transnational governance; Regulation; supranationalism; transparency


Multilevel trade governance and transnational social regulation put democratic self-regulation under stress. A growing number of supra- and transnational norms, rules, and regulations on trade, environmental issues, or any other field of regulation, prove that we are facing another great transformation, the transformation of international relations and intergovernmental politics into law-generating fora, with government and private networks and a number of court-like institutions as central actors. This process of transnational juridification limits parliamentary rooms for manoeuvre and comprehensively alienates many citizens submitted to transnational regulation from this process. This contribution attempts to clarify the mechanisms at work. In a second step it seeks to identify possible concepts that could grasp this transformation, and confronts them again with the problem of self-government. In a bow to the particularities of the transnational sphere, it tries to resist the methodological nation-state trap. Instead, it supports a constitutionalization of participative structures in global administrative governance. The outline, degree, and limits of such a concept are not self-explaining. The EU and its attempts to integrate civic participation, thus, may illustrate concrete outlines of such a project. This reconstruction allows for concluding observations on global structures and the constitutionalization of participatory transnational governance on a global scale.